PayPal, eBay's online payment service, announced a new service Wednesday that aims to make it easier to shop online by cutting down on the number of accounts consumers have to create with various Web retailers.
The service, called PayPal Access, was unveiled at eBay's X.commerce developer conference in San Francisco.
EBay spokesman Anuj Nayar said Tuesday that PayPal Access will let users log on to participating retailers' sites and pay with their PayPal username and password, rather than create separate accounts as many online retailers currently require. Currently, shoppers on some sites have to set up a new account even if they're paying with PayPal, the details for which they don't enter until near the end of the transaction. PayPal Access keeps a user's financial details within PayPal.
PayPal Access was rolled out with X.commerce, a new eBay Inc. business that also launched Wednesday, geared toward developers and merchants. It encourages developers to integrate eBay's technology into commerce apps and websites. X.commerce merges the software developer communities for eBay.com, PayPal and eBay-owned e-commerce platform Magento. Together they include 850,000 developers.
Also Wednesday, X.commerce showed off a set of developer tools that is intended to simplify the process for adding eBay-owned technology - such as that behind Milo, a local shopping engine eBay bought in 2010 - to websites and apps for smartphones and tablet computers.
The conference also spotlighted the upcoming version of eBay's smartphone app RedLaser, which lets people scan product barcodes and compare prices online and in local stores. RedLaser 3.0, which Nayar said will be out by the end of the year, will add PayPal for purchasing items directly from the app.
A demo of the app showed a man scanning the barcode on a Nintendo Wii box, finding it in stock at a nearby Toys R Us and buying it within the app so he could go pick it up at the store.
Also on Wednesday Facebook and X.commerce announced a partnership to help retailers and developers make online shopping more social. EBay is integrating Facebook's "open graph" functionality with the commerce platforms run by Magento and, eventually, GSI Commerce. Both of these eBay-owned businesses manage companies' presences online. Magento works with small- and medium-sized companies, while GSI works with larger ones.
This integration will let retailers that use Magento or GSI Commerce weave social shopping functions into their websites and apps. For example shoppers will eventually be able to click Facebook-linked buttons indicating they "want" or "own" a pair of shoes. The information will show up on their Facebook news feeds where friends can see it and respond.
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